EDCs in plastics cost the US $250 billion in healthcare annually

Scientists calculate US health care costs caused by a well-studied subset of endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) in plastics; estimate exposure cost $250 billion in 2018, equivalent to 1.22% of Gross Domestic Product; recommend addressing chemicals of concern in global plastics treaty to reduce disease burden and costs

PFAS research snapshot Q4 2023: presence, migration, health concerns, and regrettable substitution

Scientists detect two per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in plastic food storage bags; study assesses PFAS in 119 single-use food packaging and tableware samples from around the world and detectes PFAS in 54%; two reviews raise awareness of PFAS impact on human liver health and safety issues connected with the PFAS substitutes – polyfluoroalkyl phosphate esters (PAPs); scientist calls for more research to assess combined environmental effect of microplastics and PFAS

Minderoo Foundation systematically maps human health effects from plastic-associated chemicals

Interactive and openly available, the Plastic Health Map summarizes human health outcomes of certain plastic-associated chemicals and particles as published by peer-review articles between 1960 and 2021; includes more than 3500 studies for 1557 chemicals; identifies gaps, including only 30% of chemicals have been investigated for health impacts, few studies in low-income countries

Two studies associate microplastic exposure with cancer

Review of occupational health studies finds workplace exposure to polyvinyl chloride (PVC) particles likely induces liver carcinogenicity; research study finds polystyrene nanoplastics to speed up ovarian cancer development in mice

PFAS are present in Vietnam FCMs, especially mochi paper trays

First study to assess per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in food contact materials (FCMs) in Vietnam detects them in 16 out of 18 samples; mostly in low levels but up to 624 ng/g in mochi paper tray; authors call for more focus on Global South since PFAS research focus is mostly on the North

Scientists detect microplastics in amniotic fluid, effects on testicular aging

Two studies investigate microplastic presence or effects in female and male reproductive organs; small cohort study finds low number of microplastics to be present in human amniotic fluid besides the placenta; in vitro and mice in vivo study reports microplastics induce premature testicular aging and identifies underlying pathways

Microplastics can lead to behavioral changes in mice

Scientists find polystyrene microplastics reduce cell viability, translocate in the body, modify mice behavior, and change their liver and brain immune markers after short-term exposure; effects potentially age-dependent; two reviews summarize nano- and microplastic impacts on fertility and potential implications

Summer 2023 research snapshot: PFAS in food packaging, food, and potential health impacts

A summary of eight studies; scientists quantify per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in French fast food packaging; detect eleven PFAS in baking trays from China but not Spain; find PFAS in straws made of paper, bamboo, glass, and plastic; “compostable” service ware can contaminate compost with PFAS; find PFAS in edible oil worldwide; further articles focus on PFAS in drinking water, in Asia, and effects on child respiratory health

Researchers detect microplastics in human semen and heart

Four recent studies assess microplastics: in human semen, heart, from baby food containers, and suitability of in vitro models to investigate human health effects; find microplastics in six out of ten semen samples, find impacts on semen quality; samples from cardiac surgery patients contain microplastics in heart and surrounding tissue; billions of nano- and microplastics released from plastic baby food containers; outline challenges and recommendation of studying plastic particles in vitro

Studies present new generic and specific modeling approaches for FCCs migration

Scientists develop nonlinear model for predicting food contact chemical (FCC) migration and apply it to FCCs of high toxicological concern; emphasize usefulness of their model to speed up migration assessment of FCCs; different group of scientists proposes an innovative modeling approach to assess release of a specific additives and elements from plastic food packaging and steel processing tools